Tucker continues domination
Laurens County Speedway: Rod Tucker has not stopped his domination of the track at Laurens County Speedway this season, already setting the track record for the most victories in a single season.
Tucker continued that trend Saturday night during the Richard Johnson Memorial race, winning $1,200 by taking his record-extending 17th race of the season at LCS. Tucker held off Larry Teal, who finished second. Behind them were Austin Mintz in third, Matt Gilbert in fourth, and Brayden Pruitt in fifth.
Tucker started the night on the right foot, posting a new track record qualifying time of 17.984 seconds. When the inversion draw was held for the division, though, Teal fell to sixth place and started on the outside of Row 3. Teal, meanwhile, went from third to fourth due to the inversion draw.
The race got off to a choppy start as there were three restarts in the first five laps. As the race went on Mintz held the early lead with Teal in second and Tucker moving up to third before the first caution on lap 3. When the race resumed with the first of multiple double-file restarts, Mintz was on the pole and Teal was on the outside of Row 1. On the second restart, on lap 5, Tucker had managed to get to the front row and captured the lead. Tucker started to pull away before another caution on lap 7 brought the field together again. The race continued to stop and start with multiple cautions through the eighth lap before the field finally put down green-flag laps.
Mintz fell back in the pack after an early caution but managed to fight his way through the field and got to third place with four laps to go. But through it all Tucker managed to keep himself in front of the field and, as a result, turned back Teal to capture the checkered flag.
Limited: Michael Smith made up some ground on Tony Quarles in the point standings by finishing first in the main event. Larry Timms was second and Quarles was third.
As a result Smith made up a net gain of 10 points in the standings and stands an estimated 36 points out of first place with five races left in the season.
Smith benefitted from the inversion draw, moving from fourth in qualifying to first for the main event. Smith got by Timms, who started on the outside of Row 1, to grab the lead that was as slim as .003 seconds through the first lap. As Smith and Timms battled early for the lead, Quarles tried to get himself into a three-driver battle for the top spot but could never get to second.
Smith managed to keep his lead, and even started to expand it – going up by as much as 2.005 seconds just past the halfway mark. After a restart on lap 14 Smith again held the lead, with Timms and Quarles battling each other for second. Timms had just enough, as it turned out, to hold on for the spot and turned back Quarles by 1.755 seconds for the runner-up spot.
SECA 604 Crate: Dale Timms won the main event in the SECA 604 Crate Division, with Gray Parton second and Jeff Robinson third.
Parton set the qualifying record in the division with a lap of 15.043 seconds, betting Taylor Puckett’s time of 15.065 seconds that was set earlier in the qualifying session. The race got off to a good start, but Timms used his outside Row 1 inversion draw to get to the front and pass Parton. Timms remained in the top spot through the entire race, while Puckett looked to strengthen his hold on the division lead after entering with a 122-point advantage on Brad Rachels. Puckett, however, had something go wrong with his car six laps from the finish and it ended up knocking him out of the race. Puckett eventually was credited with an eighth-place result.
Rachels, meanwhile, finished fifth and was able to pick up a net gain of eight points – leaving him in a deep hole as the season winds down.
602 Crate: Dustin Morris won the main event with Mart Patterson second and Colt Smith third.
Patterson took the lead on Morris at the start of the race, but Morris made a pass for the lead on the second lap and started to gain some control when a caution came out on lap 4. Once the race resumed Morris was able to further assert his control of the race with Patterson following in second, and Smith unable to gain any ground on the runner-up and having to settle for third.
By finishing in third, though, Smith gained a net 15 points on Matt Dean, who entered second in the standings by 41 points. Smith now has an estimated 56-point lead in the title chase.
Thunder Bombers: Josh Hellams finished first in the main event, with Dylan Chappell second and Tinker Roberts third.
Hellams led wire to wire in the main event, not allowing a pair of early cautions to get him off his game. Chappell, who entered the night second in the point standings, maintained second place with Brandon Satterfield challenging for the spot. Chappell was able to hold off the challenge and keep the spot, allowing him to expand what was a slim lead on Dan Lawson in the point standings after Lawson finished eighth. Chappell is an estimated 37 points ahead in the standings with five races left.
FWD: Travis Jamieson stopped Bradley Williams to win the main event. Williams was second and Josh Dawson was third.
Jamieson and Joel Cabe, the points leader entering the night, in a duel for the top spot. Cabe continually looked under Jamieson for a low line to make a potential pass but couldn’t find a way by – then ran into bad luck when he had a flat tire and had to go to the pits under caution with four laps complete. Cabe was able to come back out, but he fell all the way to the back of the field before eventually rallying to sixth by the end of the race.
Jamieson got a good push from Williams through the second half of the race, but Jamieson eventually pulled away and grabbed the top spot.
In the points race Jason Bishop, second in the standings by 47 points, gained a net 11 points by finishing fourth.
Enduro: Adam Jackson won the main event, with Randy Ausburn second, Robbie Hartman third and Eric Caughorn fourth.
Jackson jumped out to the lead at the start with Hartman second and Caughorn third, but on the third lap Hartman spun out and Caughorn tapped into him to bring out a caution. Once the race resumed Caughorn had trouble as he fell off the pace and eventually went into the pits for the rest of the night.
Jackson and Hartman dueled for the top spot after the restart, but Hartman eventually smacked the wall with two laps to go, forcing him out of contention and bringing out a green-white-checkered finish that only delayed the inevitable Jackson victory.
The result of the race pushed Caughorn’s lead up to 325 points on Hartman, and has essentially clinched the division title for Caughorn.